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Australia George VI

1942-S  Threepence reverse 1942-S  Threepence obverse

1942-S Threepence

Mintage:8,000,000
Mint:San Francisco Mint Monarch:George VI Reverse Designer:George Kruger Gray Obverse Designer:Thomas H. Paget Size:17mm Weight:1.41g Edge:Plain Composition:92.5% Silver
7.5% Copper

Values

Sales History

The 1942-S Threepence was struck at the San Francisco Mint with a mintage of 8,000,000. In the same year a further 16,000,000 pieces were struck at the Denver Mint and another 528,000 at the Melbourne Mint. The San Francisco piece can be differentiated from the other varieties by a small 'S' mint-mark located below the right-most ribbon on the reverse. The large mintage means that the type is usually quite affordable, only becoming very valuable at MS65 and higher.

San Francisco 'S' mint-mark on the reverse on a 1942-S Threepence. San Francisco 'S' mint-mark on the reverse on a 1942-S Threepence.

The extremely large mintage of threepence in 1942 was a response against a major shortage of both silver and copper coinage. One of the key reasons for this shortage was the mass arrival of United States soldiers into Australia from the Middle East theatre. (The Courier-Mail, 1943) These troops, along with a general increase in public spending, created an unprecedented demand for coinage. The Melbourne and Perth Mint simply could not make supply match demand so a deal was struck with the United States. Under President Roosevelt's Lend-Lease Policy the United States agreed to provide Australia with a substantial quantity of silver coins. Australia guaranteed to then return an equal amount of silver after the war.

President Theodore Roosevelt had created the extensive Lend-Lease Policy in 1941 as a way to assist allied forces during the Second World War. The program allowed the United States to provide war materials including but not limited to ammunition, air-planes, and food that could then be repaid for "...in kind or property, or any other direct or indirect benefit which the President deems satisfactory." The program proved essential to the allied war effort with the total value of the aid reaching $49,100,000,000. (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2017)

United States Secretary of State and representatives from Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain signing Lend-Lease agreements. United States Secretary of State and representatives from Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain signing Lend-Lease agreements.

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